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Tachinid Fly: Hystricia (Hystricia abrupta)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Tachinid Fly: Hystricia



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Image Credit: Kathleen P. from Otsego County, NY
Full-sized image of the Tachinid-Fly-Hystricia-Abrupta Thumbnail image of the Tachinid-Fly-Hystricia-Abrupta

The bristly spikes of hair of this Tachinid Fly come form rings of tufts around its plump, red body.



Updated: 08/23/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Tachinid Flies look menacing, but they are harmless to people. Adults are often seen taking nectar from flowers. A fly larva, or maggot, does not drink from blossoms. Instead, it latches onto a pest insect that feeds on the same garden plant. This parasitic attachment leads to the death of the food pest, allowing the grown larva to pupate into its adult form. Generally, the insects that a Tachinid Fly larvae eats are known pests for gardeners that eat a plant's leaves, weakening the plant. Because Tachinid Flies are a natural biological control, they are beneficial insects.



General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Flying insect icon
Hairy insect icon
Rounded insect body icon
Spiny / Spiky insect icon




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Insecta
      Order: Diptera
        Family: Tachinidae
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          Genus: Hystricia
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            Species: abrupta
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Hystricia abrupta
Category: Fly or Mosquito
Size (Adult; Length): 9mm to 13mm (0.35" to 0.51")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: red, black, tan
Descriptors: red body, black hairs, spiky, round, hairy, flying
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 9mm and 13mm
Lo: 9mm
Md: 11mm
Hi: 13mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
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Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Tachinid Fly: Hystricia may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Tachinid Fly: Hystricia. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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